A man of integrity and sound principles and whose life has demonstrated his worth and ability as a staunch citizen, it is becoming that we accord him space in the history of his County.
Eli A. Leach was born in Greenview, Menard County, Illinois, being the son of Salathiel G. and Mary (Yarner) Leach, natives of Indiana. The father was born in 1826 and died in 1862 from yellow fever, while in service in the Civil war in Tennessee. He was one of the earliest pioneers in Illinois and a capable and enterprising man. The mother was born in 1824 and her parents were among the earliest settlers in that state. They had to fight both wild animals and hostile Indians. Her father was also a forty-niner in California.
Our subject remained in Illinois until fourteen and then went with his mother to northwest Missouri, where he and his brother farmed for her, their home being in Harrison County, where he was educated and grew to manhood. Later he studied and practiced medicine, and gained good laurels in this line. When twenty-seven he settled in Elk County, Kansas, and later in Pratt County, where he farmed and practiced medicine. Later he returned to Harrison County on a visit and in 1888 Mr. Leach came to Farmington, Washington. Here he leased land extensively and farmed. In the awful year of panic, 1893. Mr. Leach had one thousand acres of first class wheat which was entirely lost on account of wet weather. This broke him up financially and in 1895 he came to his present place, about two miles southeast from Ilo, made a filing and settled down. He now has a fine house of fourteen rooms, which he is completing, and has followed diversified farming with success since.
On August 16, 1874, Mr. Leach married Miss Lucinda, daughter of William R. and Sarelda (Croff) Smith, born in Kentucky in 1827 and 1829, respectively. The father still lives in Missouri but the mother died in 1884. The nuptials of our subject were celebrated in Harrison County, Missouri. Mrs. Leach was born in Missouri on November 14, 1855, and has the following brothers and sisters: Sarah, Jeremiah, Mary, Richard, Susan, Jasper, Rena, Ison, and William. Mr. Leach has the following named brothers and sisters: Eugene, a soldier in the Civil War; Edith, Robert, deceased; Salathiel. Eleven children have been born to our worthy couple: Theophilus, Floyd, Cloyd, Theodore, Rosa, deceased, Mary E., Eugene, Mattie, Edith, Dollie, Ida. Mr. Leach is an elder in the Christian Church and has been an active member of that Church since he was seventeen. Mrs. Leach has been a member of it since 1889.
Mr. Leach is a Republican and has always been active. He is a strong supporter of good schools and labors intelligently for their betterment constantly. He was forced to undergo much hardship when he came here, but has been prospered and now has a fine bunch of stock and is well to do.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903